Super sub Chicharito earns Hammers London derby point
Chicharito's instant impact from the substitutes' bench helped West Ham United hold Chelsea to a 1-1 London derby draw in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Mexican was introduced with 20 minutes remaining at Stamford Bridge and had the ball in the net three minutes later, coolly side-footing home Marko Arnautovic's clever cut-back to level the score.
The hosts had taken a first half lead when Cesar Azpilicueta flicked in following a Chelsea corner, but David Moyes' Hammers fought back with character in the second half to earn themselves an important point.
The hosts applied the pressure for the majority of the first half and almost took the lead early on.
Just three minutes in, Eden Hazard charged into some space on the right-hand-side of the box before firing across Joe Hart in goal but just wide of the far post.
A quarter-of-an-hour in, the Hammers created their best opening. Arthur Masuaku picked out Marko Arnautovic in the penalty area - as he did so well against Southampton last weekend - but the Austrian could not get the ball out of his feet and his effort was eventually blocked.
Ten minutes later, Antonio Conte's men thought they had taken the lead - Alvaro Morata was slipped in cleverly by the impressive Hazard, and though he slipped the ball under Hart to find the back of the net, up went the assistant referee's flag on the far side.
Just before the half hour mark, the same pair combined once again but Morata this time could not get his effort on target. Hazard, jinking his way past Angelo Ogbonna, picked out the Spaniard in the six-yard-box but the forward's flick dribbled wide.
Next, Willian curled an attempt wide shortly before Hart prevented him bagging with a wonderful save, but from the resulting corner it was 1-0 Chelsea.
The short set-piece was eventually clipped into the box by Victor Moses, and after Morata's knock-down, Azpilicueta was there to take one touch before flicking in.
The second half began in a similar fashion, with Chelsea going close. Willian was again the man to have the shot, but he dragged the 12-yard attempt wide of the far post.
The Hammers soon after charged up the other end, and Joao Mario was able to lay-off for Arnautovic in the D on the edge of the box, but Courtois held the No7's effort.
For the second time of the afternoon, a Blues goal was then ruled out for offside. Willian was allowed space to cross low from the left, and there to meet his centre was Morata again, but up went the flag once again as the summer signing tapped in.
Willian - most certainly in the mood at Stamford Bridge - cut inside Masuaku with 25 minutes remaining, but lashed his left-footed strike wide again.
A pivotal moment in the London derby then occurred - manager David Moyes replaced Edimilson Fernandes with Chicharito, and his impact was immediate.
A long ball was not dealt with at all well by Gary Cahill, and Arnautovic was able to pick up in the box, spin, and cut back for the sub. With plenty of blue bodies in front of him, the Mexican kept his cool and finished expertly to get the Hammers back on level terms.
Looking for a goal to put them back in front, Chelsea charged forward soon after and Hart was called into action. Flying to his right, the England goalkeeper superbly tipped over Alonso's fierce drive.
The stopper was again the man gaining the plaudits minutes later as he this time dived the opposite way to tip sub Giroud's goalbound header round the post.
Despite the late pressure though, the Hammers held on with steel and determination, and collected what could be a very important point to put themselves six points ahead of Southampton in 18thplace.
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses (Pedro 78), Fabregas, Kante, Alonso, Hazard, Willian, Morata (Giroud 78).
Subs not used: Caballero, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Christensen, Emerson.
West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Evra 64), Masuaku, Noble, Kouyate, Fernandes (Chicharito 70), Joao Mario (Cullen 85), Arnautovic.
Subs not used: Adrian, Pask, Diangana, Hugill.